Description of the institution


SINTEF is a multidisciplinary research organisation that finds intelligent, profitable solutions for the public and private sector based on research and development in technology, the natural sciences, medicine and the social sciences. SINTEF is Scandinavia’s largest independent research organisation 2100, of whom 85% are R&D personnel. SINTEF collaborates closely with the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) and the University of Oslo. SINTEF has extensive experience in the coordination and management of national and international research projects, including EU-funded projects.

The Department of Biotechnology has development of biotechnological processes as its main research field, including strain selection and improvement by genetic engineering, and development and optimization of fermentation processes. The department has a close and integrated collaboration with the Department of Biotechnology at NTNU, with several joint laboratories.

SINTEF Department of Process Technology has extensive knowledge within chemical engineering, catalysis, thermodynamics, reactor modelling, mathematics and flow modelling. Comprehensive and interdisciplinary work within oil and gas operations has generated a strong generic knowledge base for process design, optimization and integration which is now utilized for research towards biorefinery. The discipline also involves the demonstration of the liability of a product or a process through fundamental laboratory work, manifesting its usefulness in pilot scale and using the results to design and make a cost estimate for a full-scale process.

Biofuels and biorefineries is a priority area for SINTEF as a whole. The institute has on-going EU, National and Nordic projects, as well as industrial contract research, on development of 2nd generation biofuels (ethanol and butanol) from lignocelluloses, and several pending project proposals on biorefineries from marine and terrestrial biomass. Department of Chemical Engineering has on-going industrial contract research, on process design and development regarding 2nd generation biofuels from lignocelluloses.

Role in the project

SINTEF contributes within WP 2 and WP 3 with competence to increase the reaction rate through increased cell concentration by facilitating efficient recycling of cell mass. Further product inhibition will be influenced through gas stripping for in-situ product recovery. Within WP 5 and 6 SINTEF will contribute to design of the process with specific emphasis on energy efficient product recovery and purification by means of hybrid separation process tailored to the individual value chains.

Key personnel

Senior research scientist Dr. Nils Dyrset has more than 20 years research experience and expertise in fermentation process development, and is currently involved in several national and international projects on 2nd generation biofuels from lignocelluloses. He has carried out a diversity of contract research projects for industrial clients on microbiological relevant fermentation processes documented in a number of technical reports. His role in the project will be in WP2 and WP3.

Dr. Bernd Wittgens, has a PhD in chemical engineering from 1998 and is currently working as a senior adviser in SINTEF, Department of Process Technology, in the field of process integration and modelling of biomass conversion processes, with expertise on detailed modelling and flowsheet optimization. His role in the project will be in WP5, WP6 and WP7.